By Dipo Olowookere
British and Kenyan soldiers yesterday took part in an integrated tactical training exercise in Laikipia County.
The joint training, conducted under the supervision of the British Army Training Unit in Kenya (BATUK), followed the recent finalisation of a new Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) between the UK and Kenya.
The new agreement, now ratified by both countries’ Parliaments, formalises the continuation of British military training in Kenya currently worth Ksh 7.5 billion per year to the Kenyan economy. Also central to the new agreement is an enhanced programme of military cooperation across all three KDF services with the UK armed forces, including provision of specialised military training, in addition to continued support to Kenyan security forces deploying to Somalia as part of the AMISOM mission.
The joint exercise, the first of its kind for five years, was observed by CS Defence Ambassador Raychelle Omamo and British High Commissioner to Kenya Nic Hailey as part of a Senior Visitors Day.
Speaking at the event, British High Commissioner Nic Hailey said:
“The UK is Kenya’s longest-standing defence and security partner, and both countries have committed to seeing this relationship continue and grow.
Today an Infantry Platoon from the Kenyan Army will train with British Troops at BATUK for the first time in five years. This represents the beginning of a new level of UK/Kenya Defence Engagement, which will greatly enhance the defence capability of both nations and contribute to Kenyan and wider regional security.”